Alan Ayckbourn: Contributions

In addition to his own extensive body of work, Alan Ayckbourn has also contributed to other works - from providing short plays to song lyrics. This page contains details about his contribution to Cinderella's Star Night.

Cinderella's Star Night

One of the most obscure Ayckbourn creations is the playwright’s contribution to a charity evening in 1982, Cinderella’s Star Night: An Evening Of Wit, Charm And Panic.

This was a fund-raising pantomime in aid of The Bobath Centre held at the Prince Edward Theatre, London, on 31 January 1982. Narrated by Ned Sherrin and directed by Tudor Davies, the pantomime featured a host of theatrical luminaries such as Ian McKellen, Joanna Lumley, Nigel Havers and Helen Mirren.

The script was written by a number of writers including Michael Frayn, Jack Rosenthal and John Cleese with the epilogue provided by Alan Ayckbourn and narrated by the actor Ian McKellen.

Epilogue by Alan Ayckbourn
As theatre folk, we often say
The world’s a stage; that life’s a play. And yes it’s true, it really is
There’s just no business like show biz! To smell the greasepaint, sniff the sighs! To stand beneath those open flies!
To hear those cheery first act calls
Of usherettes there in the stalls.
To find an artist’s role entails
Filling the lull between bar sales.
Yet realizing with certain pride
One stands where Henry Irving dried! Ah, history! We’re all a part
Of this, the theatre’s magic art!
And if it would be quite untrue
Were we to hide the facts from you.
Despite our hopes, our actor’s dreams The finest time of all it seems
Is not that moment when it starts - When first the velvet curtain parts -
But rather (just between us friends) When once the bloody thing descends!

Alan’s contribution to the pantomime - and indeed even the event - might have been lost to posterity were it not for the fact that an audio recording of the event was made and released on vinyl in 1983. Although extremely rare, it ensured Alan’s contribution to the evening survived as no notes or record of Alan’s contribution to the work survive in his own archive.

This page is reproduced from the book Unseen Ayckbourn by Simon Murgatroyd.

Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.